While designing a network it is important to know the needs of those who will be using the network within a budget desired keeping security and redundancy in consideration. So lets us talk about some steps required when we go for network design. They are:
1. Identify business requirements:
First, we need to gather the requirements provided by the business and work on what network strategy should be implanted keeping the financial aspect in mind.
2. Identify network requirements:
Here we identify the network requirements which are based on the goals of creating a conceptual network. We also assess the location where this network will be installed and if any other network system already exists, then we can do a gap analysis to check if any existing system infrastructure or operational environment could be of use to the proposed network.
3. Draw a network diagram:
After being provided with the business and technical requirements, we need to create a physical and logical design that outlines the full scope of the proposed network. The design drawing is quite helpful in the future to troubleshoot if any problems occur. One can have a look at the detailed drawing and be able to find the issue in the network. For this reason, Network drawings must be very detailed and adequate to represent the live environment. It should also be continuously updated and kept in a secure location.
4. Network implementation:
In this phase we have to document step by step approach towards each aspect of the modular network and provide a full procedure of the network design will be implanted. The documentation must have a rollback plan so that in case any issues arise while implementing a particular step, then it should be possible to go back to the previous step and re-implement the step again.
Another important part of this phase is the time frame decided for each module and testing to be performed at the end of each step.
5. Build a network prototype/pilot:
When we complete the network design and implementation, it is a good practice to test the new module on a small site. There are two ways, either by the prototype method or pilot method. In the prototype method, the testing is done in an isolated environment, and in the pilot method, the testing is done in a live environment. Successful testing leads to moving forward and implementing the design, a failed testing leads to correcting the design and repeating the tests to correct any errors.
6. Network design document:
The network design document covers all aspects of the new network including advantages and its future benefits. The document includes the introduction of a network project, designing the business requirements, detail about the existing network, proof of concepts, design, implementation of the plan and appendixes.
7. Implement the design:
In this phase, the network engineer implements the network design into a real network. The network is built according to the design specifications, integrating the devices without creating any disruptions to the existing network.
8. Monitor and Manage:
The network at this stage is now fully implemented and operating properly. We only have to monitor the network devices, traffic and security aspects. We can modify if something goes wrong while monitoring the network and can also add some extra features and services to the network.
Here the goal is to identify the issues and resolve them before the actual problem arises and affects the organization. Fault detection and correction is necessary when proactive management cannot predict or alleviate failures.
The network needs to be secured from start to finish from outsider intrusion and data theft. The security measures need to be put at places of firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, monitoring, antivirus, and such. It is essential to protect and secure client assets, business resources, and infrastructure.
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